After Rio – what next?

It’s time to give all mankind a real chance to enjoy genuine development

Guest post by Dr. Kelvin Kemm

The Rio+20 World Environmental Conference has come and gone. The “Plus 20” comes from the fact that it took place twenty years after the first such conference, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Between these dates, I was a delegate at the 2002 world environment conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ever since 1992 I have watched the eco-evolution taking place.

There is a good side and a bad side. The good side is that general world environmental awareness has been enhanced. That is definitely good. But there is still so much to be done, especially in poor countries where many people are always on the edge of survival, people must eke out a living off the land, and many will do whatever it takes to earn a little cash, to just survive another day.

Here in South Africa we see the daily international poaching attacks on our elephants and rhinos. It’s disgraceful. For us in the south, on midwinter’s day in June (our winters are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere), the total rhinos shot this year stands at 251, just to get their horns, which are still viewed as aphrodisiacs and medicine in many Asian countries. Last year’s total was 448, more than one a day – so it’s getting worse. Poachers are now using helicopters and machine guns, and often taking chainsaws to still living rhinos.

There is much to do to sustain and protect the world’s natural environment. That should be done – but done well, and honestly. The bad side of Rio+20 is the degree of scientific dishonesty and economic manipulation that has crept into the international debate. That is shocking.

In recent years we have heard a great deal about “climate change.” I am on record as saying I do not believe human activities that produce carbon dioxide (CO2) are making any significant contribution to climate change – certainly not anything dangerous or catastrophic.

Observed climate change appears to be in line with past historic meteorological cycles – and likely linked to natural cosmic rays interacting with the magnetic fields of the earth and the sun’s interactive magnetic screening system.

But there are organisations in the world that want mankind to be at fault, so that there is someone to blame and attack, someone to tax and control, and someone to encourage to be “traditional” and “sustainable” – and consequently in a state of perpetual primitive poverty and disease … on the edge of survival.

It was noticeable that Rio+20 moved away from the theme of “climate change.” It would appear that the disastrous climate change, which green extremists predicted with such great relish, has not been occurring. So climate change is dying as a “marketable concept.” They can’t use it to scare enough people anymore.

Thus the Rio+20 summit focused on the concepts of “biodiversity” and “sustainable development,” as the main themes, and therefore the main “worries.” If people can be made to worry, they can be made to fear, and then they can be controlled.

Rio+20 was all about international control. Certain green organisations clearly want to exert direct control over world governments, and want to impose their brand of world government on our planet, communities, businesses and families. The concepts of biodiversity and sustainable development give them the leverage.

The greens claim that our plant and animal species, our natural resources, our air and water, and our planet are in such desperate trouble that the extreme greens must take control. They will then defend “biodiversity,” and to do this they will decide what “sustainable development” actually means and how it must be implemented.

They will decide how, when and where any community will be permitted to “develop.” It is interesting to take another look at the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, which came out of the 2002 world environment conference in Johannesburg. It included language asking that the world pay attention to “the worldwide conditions that pose severe threats to the sustainable development of our people, which include: chronic hunger; malnutrition … and endemic, communicable and chronic diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.”

What happened to all these human issues at Rio+20? They were gone. For some reason, the Rio version of “biodiversity” and “sustainability” did not include humans.

In Rio the head of the WWF stated that the WWF wanted “transparent annual reporting and review on subsidy reforms, leading to the elimination by 2020 of all environmentally harmful subsidies, in particular fossil fuel subsidies.” Who do these people think they are? And why have they said nothing at all about the nearly $1 trillion that Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports has been spent worldwide just since 2004 on wind, solar, biofuel and other “renewable” energy schemes that any objective observer would understand are simply not “sustainable” on economic, environmental or any other grounds.

Moreover, this WWF statement is intended to give authenticity to some “world government,” to tell sovereign nations how to care for their own citizens.

In many African countries building a coal-fired power station will reduce CO2 emissions. How? Because there are millions of families who have no electricity, and so cook on wood or dung fires. These fires burn inefficiently and produce not just carbon dioxide, but many airborne pollutants that harm or even kill people. If thousands of these fires are replaced by a modern coal-fired power plant, the net effect would be to lead to improved air quality and less CO2 per unit of energy.

Such an action would be a significant advance, even if the CO2 actually were a problem, though much scientific evidence shows that it is not. This evidence of course is shouted down by those with vested interests in perpetuating “dangerous manmade climate change” as a thesis, and as a professional sinecure. Such an approach is not honest, and it is not science.

Meanwhile, however, European countries have introduced a carbon emissions tax on passenger aircraft flying over their airspace. The tax, per passenger, is calculated on total miles flown, so passengers flying to Europe from faraway places like South Africa and Australia pay much higher emissions taxes to the Europeans to clean up Euro air than do the EU’s own citizens, who collectively fly far more cumulative miles around Europe. Despite appeals from South Africa to spare us the tax, we were turned down. We are getting sick and tired of this high handed First World attitude.

Now from Rio+20 we are told that a goal for development is to move away from “outdated” concepts like measuring national growth using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – and to rather use more “modern” and “equitable” measures like the “Happy Planet Index” (HPI), under which some world authority or bureaucrat is going to place an “environmental value” on keeping our environment “pristine” and “traditional.” Those values will be built into the HPI. Meantime, many people in Africa will continue to cut down habitats to burn wood and dung, and we will fight elephant and rhino poachers all by ourselves.

In Rio, eight of the world’s largest development banks announced the largest monetary commitment to come out of Rio+20, a US$175 billion initiative to shift investment away from roads to public transport. They want to use the money to promote the use of buses, trains and bicycles, instead of cars and aeroplanes.

In many parts of Africa they don’t even have a road yet. No electricity either, nor school nor clinic.

It is time for UN, EU, US and other green do-gooders to get off their anti-development high horse. It’s time to give all of mankind a real chance to enjoy genuine development. It’s time to stop using a “preserving biodiversity” ruse to keep the world’s most impoverished people forever in poverty.


Dr Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and business strategy consultant in Pretoria, South Africa. He is a member of the International Board of Advisors of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), based in Washington, DC ( Dr. Kemm received the prestigious Lifetime Achievers Award of the National Science and Technology Forum of South Africa.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Keith Minto
June 28, 2012 10:33 pm

It is time for UN, EU, US and other green do-gooders to get off their anti-development high horse. It’s time to give all of mankind a real chance to enjoy genuine development. It’s time to stop using a “preserving biodiversity” ruse to keep the world’s most impoverished people forever in poverty.

Very well expressed and it shows how out of touch these people really are. Sort of reminds me of the Windows 7 function “Restore computer to an earlier time”. How far back in time should we go to achieve an ecological Nirvana, and, how do you stop evolution?
Such selfish nonsense.

June 28, 2012 10:55 pm

it’s all about global governance by unelected elite rulers
pass the foil

June 28, 2012 11:19 pm

This opiion piece deserves wide exposure, and to be sent to the various media groups around the world. Whether it would be published is another question.

June 28, 2012 11:24 pm

The “do gooders” of the world spent decades pouring aid into 3rd world countries. They finally figured out that pouring money into corruption ridden dictatorships did nothing but make wealthy and powerful dictators still more wealthy and powerful. The starving continued to starve.
Unfortunately, having taken their focus off of pulling the 3rd world up, they seem to have taken aim instead at pulling the 1st world down.

June 28, 2012 11:29 pm

It’s time to give all mankind a real chance to enjoy genuine development
So, Did they remove already the green mask? Now the fuzz meaningless word is genuine, instead of sustainable.

June 28, 2012 11:44 pm

MangoChutney says: June 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm
“pass the foil”
You might want to consider a Sabre or perhaps a Épée instead, a foil bends with the wind and has no stopping power. If we are to be limited to cold steel then I would take a Katana or a perhaps a Bastard Sword, since is is kin to the believers.

ferd berple
June 28, 2012 11:47 pm

The noble savage had a life expectancy of 40 years. 1/2 of all children died before age 5. That was the pristine, traditional lifestyle not very long ago. 2 billion people still don’t have electricity or running water.
How sustainable is a jet plane ride to Rio? Why did the delegates not tele-conference?
Because they are hypocrites. They want a pristine earth, so long as every one else lives the traditional lifestyle to make it possible. They on the other hand could simply not think of living without their cell phones and double mocha coffee’s. They have already made the sacrifice, by demanding others live the traditional lifestyle. They should thus be exempt because the are (self) righteous, and anyhow they separate their garbage into the blue box, so it isn’t really garbage at all.

June 29, 2012 12:01 am

After Rio – what next?
Dunno but they left a lasting impression.

June 29, 2012 12:13 am

The greenie agenda laid bare. How many more times must this be done, how much more misery must be endured until the message sinks in?

Grey Lensman
June 29, 2012 12:17 am

Sadly, a classic example of this is happening, right now in Assam India. This Sub-tropical rainforest area has been stripped by a poor and naturally growing population to provided warmth and cooking.
This results in loss of water retention, soil erosion and flooding. This alone is a major problem because this also then affects Bangladesh, by filling the rivers with sediment and increasing water flow. Result devastating floods downstream.
The solution is simple and very cheap. Provide low cost energy and encourage active replanting of the Forest.

June 29, 2012 12:31 am

Excellent post!
The lack of concrete results from the Rio+20 conference is rather good news: no global governance can emerge from such gathering since no sovereign country is ready to forfeit their power beyond the minimal requirements of UN membership. A vague, non-committing final declaration enables environmental pundits in governmental and intergovernmental bodies, and militia of non-governmental organizations to keep continuing their business. This is why they remain “disappointed but confident”.
The fact that climate change was no more explicitly on the agenda is not necessarily a positive sign.
It may mean that the paradigm is now well established: anthropogenic climate change is accepted as a true truth, with human caused carbon dioxide emissions being the most significant contributing factor.
Our kids are brain washed into this from kindergarten to college and the media are faithfully repeating this gospel with high frequency; even The Economist has fallen into the trap.
In Europe no one elected politician dares take issue with this new paradigm (one commendable exception being the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus): for such leader it’s easier to follow the crowd than to orient it into another direction.

Ally E.
June 29, 2012 12:33 am

An excellent piece. It’s time for the world to wake up. It’s also time for the world to ditch the UN.

June 29, 2012 12:51 am

First, Dr. Kemm, thank you very much for this report.
Second: I think it would be good if we could hear from a lot more people, who have had the chance to actually be part of some of these conferences- but whom are on the Common Sense side of the issue. I don’t know if that is even remotely possible (Yes, I am aware of Moncton, but Dr. Kemm was an ‘insider,’ so to speak), but they have to be out there.

June 29, 2012 12:54 am

Dr Kelvin Kemm, thank you for a very intelligent article. WWF and most other enviromental groups must be kept away from humanity and especially any control, they are poison, to humans and the environment they think, wrongly, that they are “protecting”. Just follow their tracks. The disasterous fire in Colorado has it origin tracing far back to the Sierra Club and their “protecting” the forest and it is they that are beginning to destroy the pristine arctic. Not humans, environMental groups and member enviroMental scientists.

June 29, 2012 12:58 am

A good summary, thanks.
They want to use the money to promote the use of buses, trains and bicycles
I recall a survey done by the Economist (not online unfortunately) which looked at what governments subsidized and who benefited. Public transport subsidies, widely viewed as benefiting the less well off, in fact benefit the middle class the most, particularly central business district office workers.
OTOH, bicycles in the developing world along with basic paved roads are an excellent idea and provide a strong economic benefit. I’m old enough to remember when bicycles pulling carts loaded with goods were quite a common sight. But I suspect the promotion of bicycles they have in mind is in the developed world, and more of the pointless symbolism they specialize in.

June 29, 2012 1:03 am

Ask the green fascists this very simple question: which past time was better than the current one? Few will dare to answer, and those who do, can be so easily tackled down.

June 29, 2012 1:06 am

Next ? World War III

Steve C
June 29, 2012 1:21 am

Thank you, Dr. Kemm, for a succinct statement of the view from Africa. Not, sadly, that different from the view from Europe. Or the USA. Or …
In a world which has shrunk over the last century, to the extent that we’re now all talking to one another on the radio, the internet and who-knows-what-next, of course we need international agreements about all sorts of things. If (f’rinstance) Anthony and I ever establish contact between our amateur radio stations (on different continents), it’ll be because the International Telecomms Union has defined agreed common frequencies for us, so that we know where to look on the dial. We’ll be keeping logs based on internationally agreed time scales, and so on.
What we categorically do not need is a band of arrogant “environmentalists” (quote marks to signify that the word is just a badge of convenience) and their political cronies, using half-baked pseudoscience to “justify” impoverishing and destroying the very societies whose enlightenment created the technologies that could vastly improve matters for everyone. (Including rhinos. We hear the occasional story here in the UK, but I’m guessing you get regular gory pictures in the newspapers. (shudder)). We urgently need to bring all intergovernmental activity under the control of the people it purports to want to “protect”, because until we do it is neither more nor less than fascism. Last time we fought that, people died in their millions. Next time?

June 29, 2012 1:40 am

No tin foil hat needed when these power-hungry scum state their desires clearly with no need to interpret…

June 29, 2012 1:48 am

The warning here is for us all. I can only speak from my experience living in the UK but for decades now we, the electorate have been apathetic to the democratic process. Sure, we get up and vote every 5 years or so but generally speaking we get on with the rest of our lives and only notice the democratic deficit when things become too bad.
So, in the UK we now have three main parties and frankly one can’t slip a cigarette paper between them. And one of the main reasons for this is that over this time the vast majority of our lawmaking function has been passed to the EU (an estimate of 75%) and at no time were the UK people asked to vote on this immense change to our democratic system!!
When the Climate Change Act 2008 was passing through parliament very little discussion took place and only THREE MPs voted against it out of 625!! In budget terms this was the largest Bill passed by the House of Parliament costing the taxpayer £18Bn per annum! If I’m honest I don’t really recall being aware of this at the time.
It is up to us to ensure that executive power remains in our own countries and that any attempt to change this is thoroughly debated and agreed to by the electorate. Relying on the MSM etc is not going to work any more.

Mark Sonter
June 29, 2012 1:52 am

Good on you Dr Kelvin, well said! I presume you are in contact with your compatriate Prof Will Alexander, who has been trying to say the very same things…

June 29, 2012 1:53 am

The whole context of the R20 statement is weird and for me this quote illustrates just how far these people are from reality, “Everyone has a right to safe, sufficient, nutritious food,,,”
This, and other equally bizarre statements, read like something from the tenets of a religious cult, with heaven on Earth and an endless supply of food provided by some magical being. Back in the real world, things are a bit different, as the only ‘right’ any human being has is to do whatever it takes to survive, providing these actions do not harm his/her neighbours.
Competition is a vital ingredient for the future development of the human species. The R10 ‘The Future We Want’ is a one-size-fits-all solution which if, by some miracle, could be delivered would lead to stagnation and the end of progress for mankind.

John Marshall
June 29, 2012 2:26 am

Sustainable Development is like making an omelet without breaking the eggs. If the WWF think that fossil fuels are, or have ever been, subsidized then they are as daft as ever. Fossil fuel development went ahead on its own merits, ie. it worked. Get rid of subsidies by all means as that will see the end of those dreadful wind turbines.
It is about World Government by the UN. The original idea of the UN was probably well meaning given that it was started on the back of a World War but it soon went beyond its usefulness and showed its lack of teeth in stopping local conflicts so should now be disbanded.

cui bono
June 29, 2012 3:01 am

Next time feed the 50,000 peripatetic eco-conference regulars with fifty loaves and twenty fishes. Without Wagyu Steak or Almas Caviar in their 5* hotels they’d soon be queuing for first-class seats back to their homelands.

George Lawson
June 29, 2012 3:17 am

An excellent post. How can we email it to the likes of Hanson, Mann, Gore, Prince of Wales, Obama, Greenpiece, WWF, etc. etc. and copy it to The Duke of Edinburgh for infomation.?

June 29, 2012 3:20 am

Didn’t hear about this on the ABC!

June 29, 2012 3:51 am

Won’t happen. Keeping native populations maximally helpless and vulnerable is good for The Market. Smart and organized farmers with private storage facilities can play a part in pricing, so they are bad for The Market. All prices must be controlled by Goldman, all prices must be changeable every picosecond by Goldman. This Is The Basic Law Of The Universe.
Global Warming pseudoscience keeps natives poor, so it’s good. Biodiversity pseudoscience keeps natives poor, so it’s good. Any new replacement pseudoscience will accomplish the same purpose.

June 29, 2012 3:58 am

WWF want to control subsidies. When are they, Greenpeace and the like, going to turn down the vast sums of money given to them by governments?

June 29, 2012 4:35 am

“The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. – Ayn Rand”

Amagh Observatory
June 29, 2012 4:39 am

On the rhino poaching issue, this is obviously fuelled by the continued atavisic Asian belief in sympathetic magic, please dont conflate this nonsense or dignify it by the use of the word “medicine”
It will only end when, as in Western Europe such beliefs are consigned to the dustbin of anthropology.
Witchcraft and sorcery didnt die out here, people just stopped taking it seriously, but it took 200o years from the earliest glimmerings of science and many backward steps until the Enlightenment finally achieved prominance.
The Western powers then attempted to spread their Enlightenment with those peoples of the world still stuck in a never ending Dark Age, but those peoples eventually decided to go their own way and is quite clear that western attitudes cannot be imposed on peoples with an Iron Age mindset and a AK47 in their hands.
Leave them to it.
Never argue with idiots, they will simply drag you down to their level.
Nevr try to teach your pig to sing. Its a waste of time and annoys the pig.

Gary Pearse
June 29, 2012 4:47 am

I’m with Dr Kemm on all these issues. As most thinking CAGW sceptics, I’m also actively interested in a clean environment and preservation of species and habitat. Green tyrrany is the avenue of neomalthusian linear thinkers who discount the ingenuity and will of humankind to resolve all these problems. Their philosophy and prescriptions underscore a lack of imagination – not a good trait for those who would rule the world. Shame on the banks! Who’s $175B do you think this is? I hope they don’t get a tax receipt for this. Shame, shame on them.

Gail Combs
June 29, 2012 5:03 am

Thank you Dr. Kelvin Kemm.
Unfortunately any type of aid to Africa comes with strings attached and normally does nothing good for the common folk. As you have pointed out energy, especially cheap energy is what is necessary to bring civilization to Africa.
It is really up to the African people to determine their own way forward. Aid in the form of all expense paid scholarships and interest free small business loans and perhaps Coal plants or SSTAR makes sense. Anything beyond that without the express supervision by the Africans themselves NO! Unfortunately the exploiters in the form of “Do-Gooders” have done a lot more harm than good with their blind and arrogant interference over the years.
I can think of nothing worse for Africa then the newest plan, the introduction of GMO Eucalptus AllAfrica has it correct Eucalptus forests are Green Deserts. The push for using Eucalptus for Bio-fuel production in South America and Africa is a push for genocide.
….explains Carlos Cespedes, a researcher at the Uruguayan Faculty of Science…
….this researcher had demonstrated that eucalyptus plantations have negative effects on grassland soils. In this study, Cespedes had verified that monoculture eucalyptus plantations cause a considerable loss of organic matter and increased acidity, associated to the alteration of the normal values of other physicochemical properties.
The soils of Uruguayan grasslands have an acidity level (pH) of approximately 6.5 – 6.8 (that is to say they are classed as “slightly acid”) although in the case of sandy soil grasslands, these values may be around 5.5. In the analysis of eucalyptus plantations on these same types of soil the results showed much lower values, situated at about 4.5 (values that are defined as “strongly acid”)….
This more acid environment is a factor that also contributes to the spread of fungi, particularly basidiomycetes. These fungi generate a web of mycelia over the soil (the “body” of the fungi that can be seen in the soil as white filaments) inducing a phenomenon known as “water repellency” of the soil, preventing water from penetrating in-depth easily. This leads to a smaller infiltration to the water-table and a comparative increase in surface runoff, stimulating soil erosion.
The decrease in soil organic matter responds to various interrelated factors. Among them it is important to note that there is less incorporation of organic residues to the soil in a eucalyptus plantation than in the case of grasslands. The eucalyptus residues remain on the surface and due to their biochemical nature they are more resistant to biodegradation….
Tree plantation defenders argue that the plantation of trees can even improve soils….
However, another important finding in this research is that monoculture tree plantations also have negative effects on soils with a history of other agricultural uses. Not even in sandy soils – where according to the defenders of tree plantations all that could happen would be an improvement – has it been possible to prove this. According to the results obtained by Cespedes, tree plantations would be the worst option….
Cespedes’ doctoral thesis not only shows that monoculture eucalyptus plantations degrade the soil in an irreversible way, but that they also destroy soils that act as enormous carbon reservoirs….
Article based on the doctoral thesis of Carlos Cespedes available at …. (Impact of eucalyptus plantations on the soil) by Teresa Perez, available at:

Hopefully those in Africa will arm themselves will the knowledge gained in Uruguay and ban the importation of Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus are very hard to remove once growing. The wood is very dense, hard to cut, with a tendency to twist. Once cut the stump has to be removed or new growth will just sprout. Nothing will eat Eucalyptus, not even goats. Most eucalypt species have acquired traits which allow them to promote fires and survive them and/or rapidly take over the newly-burned environment.

Steve Keohane
June 29, 2012 5:25 am

Well said Dr. Kelvin Kemm, thank you.

michael hart
June 29, 2012 5:31 am

Like mom’s apple pie, children, and world peace, the “Environment” is something that few would think is a bad thing.
The problem, as Jonova mentioned recently, is activists that simply want to be heroic. Most other people would actually be pleased to learn that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are not causing an impending cataclysm.

June 29, 2012 5:33 am

they all should be charged with treason and locked up

Armagh Observatory
June 29, 2012 5:45 am

“It’s time to give all mankind a real chance to enjoy genuine development”
The problem is that the resources needed to give all 7billionof us the same way of life we enjoy as the result of the Enlightenment dont exist on this planet, even if they all wanted a western way of life.
Malthus has not yet been proved wrong, just that his projections were on the wrong scale.
Advances since his time have enabled the world population to increase from 1billion in 1800 to 7bilion now, doubling from 3.5billion from my birth in 1963 to now and projected to be 9billion if Im lucky enough to reach the age of 70.
All these people will will need food, shelter and energy. Will there be enough to go round or is the planet reaching a Malthusian saturation point? If so what then?

June 29, 2012 5:50 am

Deny the poor fossil fuels and they will do the next best thing – chop down forests. I know this fact because it has happened on my own plot of land behind my back. This is the law of unintended consequences at work. Lost trees, animals, insects, dry soils etc. and still more co2 into the air.

June 29, 2012 6:08 am

I am so glad Dr Kemm brought up the Happy Planet Index as the stated plan in the US was to keep nef’s concepts but to come up with a more marketable name. Too late. Related to this is the UN’s publication of its first ever World Happiness Report.
I have mentioned before that the UN’s Economic and Social Council in May released a report in May preparing for its July 2-27 meeting. It states explicitly that “the Secretary-General has made education one of the priorities of his Action Plan for the next five years and has decided to launch a new Global Initiative on Education. The objectives are to put education at the heart of the social, political and development agendas.”
As I have mentioned before with accreditation controlling K-12 and higher ed and accreditation and Quality Assurance actually being affiliated with UNESCO, no one needs any more treaties. Just backdoor funding tucked into departmental budgets.
The targeting mechanism specifically within education globally is the social and emotional learning and creating values and moral commitments push. That comes in with the accreditors requiring schools and districts to keep data on each student’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Which then tracks back to that World Happiness survey.
Because no one could be a better monitor of each person’s happiness than a UN bureaucrat.

June 29, 2012 6:18 am

For readers from the UK, Richard Layard’s work, Happiness: Lessons From A New Science, is what is being pushed globally. It is a component of the Happy Planet Index and the UN conception of well-being. And for the joking yesterday about the noosphere and UVa’s Contemplative Sciences Center, this Happiness push also has a huge component on “training” feelings and a belief that “education of the spirit is a public good.”
I think this is a dangerous area to be pushing on children. Especially by people who won’t be honest with us about reading, math, or their actual grasping agenda.

June 29, 2012 6:31 am

Dr Kemm, a very very hearty “Hear! Hear!”.
I am a citizen of the United Kingdom, a country chained to and dictated to by the EUSSR. Please do not assume that the policies of our government and the EU Commission have the support of the people. Very many people who have actually thought the issues through would like to see the sort of development in Africa and other places which you espouse.
Most people in the “environmental movement” mean well but they don’t really have any idea what results their ideas would produce in practice. They have a fairyland view that nature is in harmony and that mankind could also be in harmony with nature if only we were to live a less technological lifestyle. Nature is not and never has been in harmony. The lives of all living entities are in a constant state of flux, an uneasy and unstable equilibrium, a constant struggle just to survive.
Man has fortunately found a way to adapt his environment to largely eliminate this struggle. We in the developed world now enjoy long and healthy lives enriched by leisure time and by our belongings. It is wicked that we should seek to impede less developed peoples as they aspire to enjoy the same lifestyle, especially as the justification for this is based on scientific hogwash.
Gary Pearse makes a very good point above. Sustainability is a synonym for stagnation and betrays a lack of imagination. Man’s ingenuity is capable of maintaining technological advance whilst keeping the spectre of unsustainable development always beyond the horizon.

Paul Mackey
June 29, 2012 7:07 am

Many of us EU residents ( I am a UK citizen, not a citizen of an un-elected commission led aggregate of Europe States ) are sick of the Eu’s high handed attitude.

June 29, 2012 7:11 am

Why is it always the left wingnuts that drive these contain and control programs? It seems that no matter what the crisis dejour, the progressives are out in front with the same tired solution – the four P’s: Condemn, contain, control, confiscate. Repeat as necessary.
(It’s four C’s, yes, but everyone loves a good malapropism)

Gail Combs
June 29, 2012 7:29 am

Robin says:
June 29, 2012 at 6:08 am
I am so glad Dr Kemm brought up the Happy Planet Index….
I have mentioned before that the UN’s Economic and Social Council in May released a report in May preparing for its July 2-27 meeting. It states explicitly that “the Secretary-General has made education one of the priorities of his Action Plan for the next five years and has decided to launch a new Global Initiative on Education. The objectives are to put education at the heart of the social, political and development agendas.”
As I have mentioned before with accreditation controlling K-12 and higher ed and accreditation and Quality Assurance actually being affiliated with UNESCO, no one needs any more treaties…
Origins of UNESCO:

…..In 1970, I. I. Gottesman, an American Eugenics Society director, defined it actively: “The essence of evolution is natural selection; the essence of eugenics is the replacement of ‘natural’ selection by conscious, premeditated, or artificial selection in the hope of speeding up the evolution of ‘desirable’ characteristics and the elimination of undesirable ones.”

Galton’s suggestion that eugenics should function as a religion was ehoed by George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russel and others.3 A pungent assertion of the religious character of eugenics comes from Julian Huxley, the first Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a member of the Eugenics Society: “We must face the fact that now, in this year of grace, the great majority of human beings are substandard: they are undernourished, or ill, or condemned to a ceaseless struggle for bare existence; they are imprisoned in ignorance or superstition. We must see to it that life is no longer a hell paved with unrealized opportunity. In this light, the highest and most sacred duty of man is seen as the proper utilization of the untapped resources of human beings.”
“I find myself inevitably driven to use the language of religion.” Huxley continued, “For the fact is that all this does add up to something in the nature of a religion: perhaps one might call it Evolutionary Humanism. The word ‘religion’ is often used restrictively to mean belief in gods; but I am not using it in this sense…I am using it in a broader sense, to denote an overall relation between man and his destiny, and one involving his deepest feelings, including his sense of what is sacred. In this broad sense, evolutionary humanism, it seems to me, is capable of becoming the germ of a new religion, not necessarily supplanting existing religions but supplementing them.”4
The Population Council, one of the new eugenics organizations that emerged after World War II, no longer spoke of eugenics as a religion, but launched “studies relating to the social, ethical and moral dimensions” of population studies, recognizing that these questions involved matters “of a cultural, moral and spiritual nature.”5 The new field of bioethics is a response to issues raised by eugenics.6 Bioethics is based on situation ethics, which was developed largely by Joseph Fletcher, a member of the American Eugenics Society…..

June 29, 2012 7:32 am

Armagh Observatory, people at the time of Malthus not only didn’t have the technology which we have today, they wouldn’t even have been able to conceive of it. So what will the world be like 100 years from now ? Who knows ?
We might have colonised the Moon or Mars. Then all Malthusian bets are off. We might be mining asteroids.
Closer to home, we could have cities below the sea, or in geostationary orbit accessed via nanotube elevators. We could be exploiting resources only accessible from deep seabeds. We could be feeding the world with some form of fungal or algal growth. We could be farming plant crops floating on the sea surface or cultivating krill.
We could be making revolutionary new materials in space.
We could have cheap fusion energy with its almost infinite supply of fuel.
Unfortunately, I won’t be around to see what actually ensues but I have a feeling that Malthus will have to wait a long time yet to see his prophecy fulfilled. No way have we reached the limit of sustainability ……………………. unless, of course, we actually allow the “environmental movement” to take over the world and stifle progress.

June 29, 2012 7:50 am

“…In many African countries building a coal-fired power station will reduce CO2 emissions. How? Because there are millions of families who have no electricity, and so cook on wood or dung fires. These fires burn inefficiently and produce not just carbon dioxide, but many airborne pollutants that harm or even kill people. If thousands of these fires are replaced by a modern coal-fired power plant, the net effect would be to lead to improved air quality and less CO2 per unit of energy…”
And, it seems like every Hurricane season, there has to be a mention about “the deforested areas of Haiti”. There’s several reasons why it’s deforested – none of which have a thing to do with CO2.
“…Many of Haiti’s people, the poorest in the Americas, routinely cut down trees for fuel—either to burn “raw” or turn into charcoal. As a result, the destruction of Haiti’s natural forests is almost total, making the Caribbean country one of the most deforested in the world…”
Because of their need for fuel, there’s an estimated 6000 hectares of soil lost each year to erosion. There are efforts to replant trees – Plant With Purpose was able to plant 3990 trees in one of the most heavily deforested areas in Haiti.
Have to wonder how many survived the first year…

Gary Pearse
June 29, 2012 8:11 am

Armagh Observatory says:
June 29, 2012 at 5:45 am
“The problem is that the resources needed to give all 7billionof us the same way of life we enjoy as the result of the Enlightenment dont exist on this planet”
Carefull Armagh Observatory, you are classifying yourself. Malthus made his projections when the population was about 1B. It was linear narrow thinking that gave him a place in history. This is the the “mindset” of the Rio+20 group. Their prescriptions for saving the world should be a clue to you that analysis and informed imagination are the commodities in the shortest supply among this group. China and India both have bigger populations than Malthus’s world and they are feeding themselves and advancing economically and technologically. We haven’t even begun to exploit the third dimension and urban farming for increasing crops although there has been some thinking about it:
How big is the population: to get a handle on how much physical room we take up, I calculate that Lake Superior could give each individual 15 sq metres to tread water in. If we only give them a square metre, the lake would hold 100B. Okay that’s how much space we take up. What will be the ultimate pop: most experts believe another 2 or 3B by mid 2000s and that’s it. This is projecting a reduction of pop growth cooled by economic development. The tunnel visionaries are most likely to retard this development and create even a larger population if left to their pointy-headed thinking. If you want it to stop at 8.5-9B, then lets build large power plants in each underdeveloped country. We will all prosper and we can afford to look after the wild places and breath fresh air and enjoy clean water.

June 29, 2012 8:33 am

“Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” — Robert A. Heinlein
Those who want to be in control (tyrants) depend on those who want to be controlled (sheep), and vice versa. The secret that allows such control to exist is – in a word – secrecy.
Where people are not informed concerning their options, they cannot act to resolve a problem. This inability to act generates ‘worry’, and (with a little fanning of the flames) fear.
The cure for worry, fear, and the spectre of tyrannical control of the uninformed population is information.
Tyranny will only die when there is universal literacy and universal access to information, combined with the empowerment (literally! the availability of cheap and abundant electrical power!) to perform the actions necessary to resolve problems.
Only the Internet and the power companies can save the world from the would-be tyrants.

Mike M
June 29, 2012 8:39 am

henrythethird says:

As a result, the destruction of Haiti’s natural forests is almost total, making the Caribbean country one of the most deforested in the world…” Because of their need for fuel, there’s an estimated 6000 hectares of soil lost each year to erosion.

Couldn’t agree more that people need to KNOW about facts like those. It was true in US history as well. Before the mid 1800’s we were cutting down our forests for fuel and building materials. I heard an old story passed down generation to generation by people living on Nahant Mass that for a period of time hundreds of years ago there was not a SINGLE tree left on Nahant. They used all the timber they could find for ship building and the rest was burnt for heating.
For most civilized humans across the entire planet, for thousands of years up until that period, 99% of our material and energy resource came from what grew or could be grown on TOP of the land. Yes, we would dig for precious metals like copper and iron but it was not economically feasible to dig for anymore than what only the richest people could afford because of the tremendous energy cost, (or vileness of slavery). We knew coal, oil and gas were down there but cutting down a tree was a LOT cheaper than digging up an equivalent amount of energy from a fossil fuel.
Then Anthony’s (?) great great great grandfather James came along and made steam power a technically feasible means to mine the coal for less than the cost of cutting trees. Coal and steam power saved our forests! The wealth of mining underground coal energy then opened the flood gates to mine iron and later make steel from it to then also replace trees as a building material. Later on steam power helped drill for oil to make kerosene that replaced whale oil for lamps. (Liberals back then complained that greedy John D. Rockefeller disenfranchised the whale harpoon sharpeners union.)
The general truth is that fossil fuels saved our forests AND saved the whales on top of increasing our life expectancy and standard of living beyond what anyone could have imagined a hundred years before, it’s all history that these CAGW hoaxers do not want people to know.

Pamela Gray
June 29, 2012 8:44 am

For reasons related to dust bowl drought and heat in an earlier decade combined with reasons related to cold so cold that many houses burned to the ground in the occupants’ attempt to stay warm in a later decade, my grandparents knew quite a bit about climate. These natural wild fluctuations through the decades hit people hard back then, so they came to expect and prepare for these events.
After housing construction improved and energy became available on a more consistent and safer basis, people did not feel these natural fluctuations, so they lost their knowledge of the unpredictable wild nature of climate and our world in general, and diminished their preparedness and adaptive capacity.
Which is why, in my opinion, the masses were so easily convinced of human caused AGW. What were once known as Acts of God IE natural disasters, are now blamed on humans through the use of scary media hype.
But many of us still know the wisdom of the ages. We are fully aware that people who have never been stalked by a cougar, or felt the heat and humidity of malarial climates, or have had to put down an animal mauled by wolves, are the very ones making decisions for the terrified woman who barely managed her escape, and the people still so poor they must beg for their mosquito nets, and the ranchers who have been compelled to stand by and watch as the wolves devour their livestock. And we know we have got to end this current Gaia worship nonsense! No good thing can come of it!

June 29, 2012 8:45 am

Gail-when I first started doing this I did not understand the difference between UNESCO and Trick or Treat for UNICEF. But UNESCO just kept popping up when I was not really looking for it.
Jean-Jacque Revel’s work Last Exit to Utopia and Robert Conquest’s Reflections on a Ravaged Century which I read for other reasons had scathing attacks on UNESCO and its duplicity and fondness for commemorating murderous dictators.
One area of Huxley’s that is vitally important to what is going on now all over the world as the social sciences and especially certain theories of psychology, sociology, and anthropology guide everything going on in education, K-12 and higher ed, is his view of culture. Instead of the transmitted knowledge and wisdom of the Ages, Huxley and his acolytes see culture much differently. Culture is merely the prevailing behavioral practices, beliefs, and feelings commonly held at any given time.
So if you use bogus science theories to gain research grants to change people’s beliefs and feelings so that they favor the desired public policies you always wanted to implement, you have changed culture. You got the goal you wanted all along. The science doesn’t matter because it was only a means. Intentions and goals are all that matter to these collectivist schemers. And they say so. Means and consequences are irrelevant to them even though they matter so much to us.
But then we are still caught up in the myth of the individual and the misguided belief that the individual can be a thinker and decision-maker.
Not to worry though. With Education for Sustainable Devt, that concept of individualism and the capitalism it fostered are slated for eradication.
Maybe that should be the slogan–Education for the Elimination of the Individual.

Mike M
June 29, 2012 8:59 am

We haven’t even begun to exploit the third dimension

No, in fact we have begun, the sky’s the limit! 😉

June 29, 2012 9:16 am

Excellent piece Dr Kemm. Eloquently expresses exactly what I understand to be happening. An intelligent and balanced description of modern environmentalism. It is just a shame there aren’t more people with sufficient “weight” communicating these views to our politicians.

June 29, 2012 9:24 am

Those attending Rio’s conference & anything similar past or present should be obligated to go live in an under-developed region without leaving for at least 2 annual cycles.
They will then be allowed to fly away if their relatives promise to lure them out of the air conditioned airport arrival terminal within 2 hours.

June 29, 2012 9:33 am

In case one has never had the experience, shooting watermelons can be a blast.

Luther Bl't
June 29, 2012 9:34 am

Happy Planet Index? Nah. Hippy Planet Index.

Poems of Our Climate
June 29, 2012 12:15 pm

We must also consider that these parts of the world are naturally anti-development. The greenies are wrong, but so are you if you think it’s the West’s job to be upgrading things for third world peoples. It doesn’t work, it has never has worked; it only makes third world people confused and linked into an international welfare state. Leave tribal peoples alone: stop screwing with their minds.

June 29, 2012 1:18 pm

Poems-On the latest thread I mention economist PT Bauer’s work as doing an outstanding job on how grants to alleviate 3rd world poverty further encourage it as well as despotic behavior to keep getting the grants.

Stephen Brown
June 29, 2012 3:18 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Kemm’s sentiments but I must correct some of his common misconceptions.
I grew up in Central Africa (Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia) and worked for 28 years in the Far East (Hong Kong). Rhino horn is used by the Chinese as an additive to antipyretic medications to combat fever. One horn will last a Chinese herbalist for a very long time. Rhino horn is not considered to be an aid to virility and is never used as such in China. The principal market for rhino horn is the Yemen and the tribes who live there and in the near vicinity.
These people use rhino horn to produce the fantastically expensive versions of the ceremonial dagger known as the jambiya. One jambiya with a rhino horn hilt can sell for as much as $US1 million (or the equivalent in Yemeni rials). The horn costs about $US1500 – $US2500 per kilo. The jambiya is given to a young man to indicate his passage into manhood, the value of the dagger is indicative of the father’s wealth and status. One of the ways in which further status is gained is for the father to throw the remainder of the rhino horn onto a fire during the celebrations of his son having achieved tribal manhood. I discovered all of this whilst working unpaid, part-time for a conservation foundation. It would appear that most of the US dollars used to purchase the illegal horns come from the foreign aid sent to that benighted backwater of the world ostensibly to save children and to provide potable water to all.
The Yemen is the principal consumer of rhino horn. I could expand further on how the horns are sent to the Yemen but I shall desist, lest the PC Brigade condemn me for being ‘racist’. the modern equivalent of a death sentence.

June 29, 2012 10:56 pm

For some reason, the Rio version of “biodiversity” and “sustainability” did not include humans.
Well, we know the reasons, and we know “what next” if the SD crowd has its way, but I must quibble with the author on the point that humanity was not included. Rather, the RIO+20 gaggle at least tries to give the impression that caring about humans is one of the anchors holding SD in place as “the future we want.” For instance, the report uses the term “poverty eradication” or some such variant a full 50 times. Right out of the gate in paragraph 2 we get this:
Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
See? They really do care. And here I thought that the greatest global challenge was to “reduce our collective carbon footprint.” My how times have changed. Not enough people lining up to sign onto a foul prescription of energy rationing and hair shirts I suppose. It was high time to reframe the agenda with ending human poverty portrayed as part, no, an “indispensable requirement” of the SD equation/solution.
Never mind that the U.N. version of eradicating poverty is the polar opposite of, say, what a poor person might think. The Rio crowd doesn’t exactly want to end poverty as much as they wish to “educate” the poor that the pastoral life (sounds all nice and flowery eh, but read: extremely challenging and often perilous) they lead is superior to the life led by the average evil Western consumer who is mussin’ up the place. Regardless, they aim to control those evil-doers as well, so the relatively fancy-free life led by the bulk of the residents of developed nations could all too soon no longer be fancy or free.
“Wealth eradication” better fits the bill. Their aims to “de-develop” the wealthy and limit the economic growth of the poor would achieve just about a halving of humanity’s wealth by 2100 (using their own numbers). Then again, by then our thorough “re-education” will ensure that humanity is oh so happy to be poor in worship of Gaia. The Happy Fun Time Planet Index will be through the roof! If we’re still allowed to have roofs that is.
As I said before, RIO+20=PAIN. Sustainable Development nay. Golden Economic Age yea. Cheers!

June 30, 2012 11:09 am

Thank you for writing this, Dr. Kemm. Very interesting.
Regarding electrification of African villages and towns, perhaps it is too much to begin with coal-fired power plants. My reason for suggesting this is that coal requires much cost be incurred to mine it, then ship it to the power plants. The resulting power price that must be charged to pay for the plant is somewhat higher than it need be. Coal-mining also has tragic costs in human life, despite best efforts to mine the coal safely.
My suggestion, and this is not original with me, is to consider zero-polluting, nearly-zero-operating-cost, entirely renewable river mouth osmosis power plants. Such plants do not exist, to the best of my knowledge, but perhaps it is time that they should.
The concept requires a river that discharges into the ocean, with the ocean depth approximately 500 to 600 feet. River water is diverted into a vertical pipe that has an ordinary hydroelectric power plant at the bottom. Discharged water from the hydraulic turbines then flows through an osmosis membrane into the ocean. The osmotic pressure of the sea water pulls the fresh water through the membrane.
Just an idea.

June 30, 2012 10:45 pm

Advocating for the use of a coal fired plant in Africa because it will generate less CO2 than what it’s replacing is the perfect example of why we’re losing the battle over the truth about climate change to the radical green leftists.
CO2 is NOT A POLLUTANT!. There’s nothing wrong with putting CO2 into the atmosphere, in fact it’s probably beneficial, not that we could ever produce enough of it to ever have a statistically significant effect on our climate. (BTW: Warming is good!)
If we’re going to advocate for the use of coal, then we should do so on the grounds that the arguments being used against it are based on bogus science. CO2 is NOT carbon, and continuing to use meaningless terms like “carbon footprint” simply give credence to the alarmist’s false claims.

Verified by MonsterInsights